September 15, 2005

I. O. Istvan Banyai $3

rem_istvan_banyai.jpgOn our drive up to NYC last week, the kid was getting a little antsy, and had burned through all the books we'd packed before we'd even crossed the Susquehana (you know that bridge in MD where it's really windy, and there's never any NPR?). So we hopped off at the outlet mall right there (NOW you know where I'm talking about? so busted.) to let her run around a bit and to grab some disposable books from the [Christian, who knew?] Book Cellar across from LL Bean.

The Christian thing may explain why my conscience is gnawing at me. I paid just 99 cents for Istvan Banyai's children's book, REM: Rapid Eye Movement, and it's so cool, it feels like I stealing. It's a wordless, hip, surreal, and entrancing series of images done in Banyai's crisp, modern, and overloaded style. (If it looks instantly familiar, it's probably because you see his work all over, including in The New Yorker and the NYT.) You don't read it so much as pore over it with your kid.

Banyai's other children's books, especially Zoom and Re-zoom, also received great reviews. [The first is similar in concept to Ray and Charles Eames' classic, Powers Of Ten, but a million--no, a billion, no a--miles apart in its trippy execution.]

So next time I see him, I've decided to give Istvan the $3 or whatever royalty he clearly deserves, and which my bargain outlet purchase deprived him of. Since I don't know Istvan at all, this may take some time. [I do know his website, though...]

Meanwhile, you can ease your conscience by buying Istvan Banyai books the old-fashioned way at Amazon.

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